Increased Penalties for Health Care Fraud Likely

prison.jpgProposals to increase the criminal penalties for health care fraud are making their way into the Senate’s health care reform bill. The proposal, The Health Care Fraud Enforcement Act, involves significant increases in potential jail time through modifications of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to increase sentencing levels predicated upon the “amount of loss” if the offenses involve health care fraud. Also, the proposal would lessen the proof requirements in kickback cases to no longer require willful conduct for a conviction. The proposal, S.B. 1959, by Senator Kaufman is co-sponsored by other fairly powerful Senators including Schumer, Specter and Leahy.
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